As the presidential race enters the home stretch, Vice President Al Gore is neck-and-neck with Texas Gov. George W. Bush. It seems as if the key to winning the election will be publicity, not issues.
The latest Newsweek poll has Bush trailing Gore by 3 percent, as opposed to 14 percent last week. Most likely, this is because Bush has had his hands busy capturing the votes of daytime talk show viewers.
It is inconceivable that Bush had such a favorable showing in the polls early on. After all, Gore was part of the Clinton administration, which presided over an of all-time low unemployment rates and economic prosperity for many.
It seems like those who were surveyed weren’t concentrating on the issues facing the country and based their choices on popularity. Fewer and fewer people are watching C-SPAN. They’re waiting to base their voting decision on the candidate who tells the funniest joke on “The Late Show.”
For months Bush held a lead over Gore, especially in following the Republican National Convention; but the polls began to swing in the opposite direction after the Democratic National Convention. By the end of the DNC, Gore had gained 10 points in the polls, trailing Bush 48-42.
At the time, many still felt that Bush would end up winning the election because of his “personality,” but his recent actions may end up costing him the election.
Bush’s downfall probably began on the day he made a public appearance and used an expletive to describe New York Times reporter Adam Clymer, completely unaware he was speaking into a live microphone.
Republican spin doctors attempted to portray the incident as showing Bush’s “human side.” Strangely, Bush’s approval rating went up in New York City; perhaps New Yorkers don’t like Clymer.
The next incident was probably not so much the fault of Bush as of the people running his campaign advertisements. The infamous “RATS” ad ran constantly over a span of several weeks. The end of the commercial ended with the message, “THE GORE PLAN: BUREAUCRATS DECIDE.” For a fraction of a second, the word “bureaucrats” was split into two parts and the portion reading “rats” was visible on the screen.
Democrats felt this insinuated that they were rats. Video experts who studied the commercial concluded that “rats” was shown on purpose and the effect could not have been coincidental.
Not surprisingly, Gore’s approval rating when up.
If Bush does end up winning the election it will be because of his publicity team, not because of his stellar personality.
Bush is probably about as incompetent as they get. It is no secret that Bush did poorly in a quiz asking him to name world leaders. It is perfectly understandable for the average person to be unable to name the leader of Zimbabwe– but not for the leader of the free world.
Don’t listen to Oprah. Don’t listen to Regis.
Read my lips: NO MORE BUSH!